Emerald launched a set of TV ads promoting its Breakfast on the Go packages of nuts, fruits and granola, marketed as an alternative to breakfast bars. A woman riding the subways offers a robot, chomping on a cardboard-looking breakfast bar, some of her breakfast on the go. Anything not shaped like a breakfast bar does not compute for the robot on her commute. See it here. A robot at work offers a breakfast bar to his co-worker, who's munching on Emerald bites. The robot starts eating his bar and spewing chunks onto his colleague. What a way to start the day. Watch it here. In the final ad, a robotic mom "commences standard breakfast procedure" by eating a Nutri-Grain bar through her conveyor belt mouth, leaving behind a red trail that looks like blood. See it here. "Humanize Your Morning" concludes the ads, created by Deutsch LA, its first work for the brand.
Major League Baseball launched a branding campaign called "MLB Always Epic" that coincided with opening day. It also guarantees that the word epic won't go away anytime soon. More than 30 ads will run throughout the baseball season, and if they're anything like the first three, I'm going to enjoy them greatly. Pitcher Felix Hernandez, aka "King Felix," plays a carnival game where he wins a prize for knocking down milk bottles with baseballs. Too easy. The booth quickly shuts down, once Hernandez wins a mound of stuffed animals. Watch it here. You know those miniature personalized license plates that kids have with their names on them? Sadly, for Ubaldo Jimenez, he can't find his name, so he asks the clerk if he has more plates in the back. See it here. Fans get a look inside San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson's infamous black beard in the next ad, seen here. There's maypole dancing and a ninja. I am not making this up. Each lighthearted ad drives viewers to MLB's Always Epic Web site. Pondering what else resides in Brian Wilson's beard? If you check out MLB's site, you'll find that answer: lumberjacks! Hill Holliday created the campaign.
We're not done with Brian Wilson just yet. He goes from playful to fearful in ESPN's latest "This is SportsCenter" spot. The closer shows SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris and Josh Elliott his intimidation face, yet the anchors initially don't "Fear the Beard." Wilson shows the pair another intimidating glance that involves his beard spouting hairy tentacles, causing the anchors to lose their lunch. See the ad here, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York.
Saatchi & Saatchi New York created a great TV ad for Head & Shoulders that combines the beginning of baseball season with a famous football player enjoying his off season. Minnesota Twins' catcher Joe Mauer puts a towel on his head and does his best imitation of Troy Polamalu from the Pittsburgh Steelers -- the soft-spoken football player with beautiful, flowing hair. In the midst of Mauer's imitation, Polamalu appears and quietly asks if Mauer is making fun of him. After initially denying it, Mauer removes the towel and admits his wrongdoing. Watch the ad here.
Actor Donald Faison goes medieval in an ad for Electronic Arts' The Sims Medieval videogame. Faison guides gamers through a world where they can play the role of knight, king, bard or spy, creating their own adventure. There are thousands of customizations for players to choose from. See the ad here, created by Draftfcb San Francisco.
Is this where the Bronx Zoo cobra went? Mentos launched another amusing TV spot starring Dragee, a man seeking positivity and clarity in life. This time around, Dragee plays the role of snake charmer, using his positive force, and Mentos mint, to change the course of nature. As Dragree moves toward the snakes, he is bitten many times as a test from the cobras. "Dragee, may we all live the fresh, positive Mentos way of life," says his follower Rick, as Dragee dies from his snakebites. See the ad here, created by Martin Agency and mixed by Sound Lounge.
Here's a way to play with your food without getting messy. McDonald's launched a series of online promotions supporting its McCafe Shake (now with whipped cream and a cherry), Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Viewers are driven to a site where McDonald's gives you an excuse to celebrate, or go out and buy a McCafe shake. Today, for example, is Tartan Day, but don't let the fact that you're not Scottish prevent you from joining in on the festivities. Then there's the Perfectly Simple, Simply Perfect promos that highlight the ingredients in a Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Users can sift through ingredients and throw cheese, pickles and lettuce around your screen. And your hands stay clean! Tribal DDB created the promotions.
Random iPhone and Android App of the week: I'm not a huge wrestling fan, but I love the WWE series, "Tough Enough." The series returned on USA Network this week and there's an app for both Android and iPhone/iPad users. The app allows fans to check in, similar to Foursquare, and connects users to fellow fans, along with show participants. Fans can check in to unlock "Tough Enough" content, like deleted scenes and pictures, throughout the show and become a part of USA's affinity rewards program. Accruing points online can lead to actual, offline goodies. The app was designed by USA and developed in conjunction with Digitaria.